POLICE AND THREE AMBULANCES RESPOND TO VIOLENCE AT TAFUNA HIGH, AMERICAN SAMOA

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By Lucy Moananu

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (March 3, 1999 - Samoa News)---Tafuna High School was the scene of teen violence that resulted in police being dispatched to the campus twice in the last week to stop fights from escalating.

Yesterday, death threats from a student against other students and staff members apparently resulted from an incident that occurred at Tafuna High School last Friday.

According to sources at the school, a fight on Friday originated from a mock wrestling match during the lunch hour, and then carried over to the afternoon when several Tafuna High students from Ili'ili mobbed a truck on campus that was carrying students from Samoana High School.

The Tafuna High School student from Nu'uuli, who had been involved in the "wrestling match" earlier that day, was riding in the passenger seat and got out of the vehicle to stop the other students from rocking the truck. Harsh words were exchanged and fists started flying.

Police were dispatched to disrupt the melee. However, several of the students involved vowed to come back for revenge as they left the scene.

Monday's lunch hour provided the time slot for the saga to continue as the student who instigated Friday afternoon's drama, along with two other students who are reportedly relatives of his from Ili'ili, were jumped and beaten behind a lower campus classroom.

Eyewitnesses at the scene report that the Tafuna High School student from Nu'uuli arrived during the lunch hour with at least twelve other persons (not all of them were students) who were carrying 2 X 4 pieces of lumber.

Three students received multiple injuries as a result of being hit by the 2 X 4's. According to several students, the three victims claimed they would return with guns later in the day.

"It looks like a village thing -- the Nu'uuli Boys against the Ili'ili boys," commented a student who saw the fight Monday.

Police, along with three ambulances, were dispatched to the Tafuna High School Campus. All three students who were taken to LBJ for treatment were released last night. Sources say the injuries were minor, with just a few stitches and X-rays required.

Police were unable to "officially" comment, as the matter is under investigation. Officers were seen questioning Tafuna High School students at a bus stop yesterday afternoon.

School officials said, "Everything has been settled and those students involved have been suspended indefinitely."

Stories from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to

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